By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri budget writers today voted to make cuts that could affect a wide range of social service programs.
State funding was reduced, and in some cases eliminated, in several areas, including domestic violence shelters, crisis pregnancy centers, community health care providers and field workers for the Division of Children.
State Representative David Sater (R, Cassville) chairs the committee that made the cuts.
"We had to make some tough decision, decisions that I did not want to make, but we do not know if we're going to get that $300 million from the federal government...our revenues are continuing to decline, and so we just have to tighten our belt a little bit right now," Sater said.
State Representative Rebecca McClanahan (D, Kirksville) says she was able to persuade lawmakers to partially restore three cuts made to the Department of Mental Health.
"Alcohol and Drug Abuse, the Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services, and the Division of Developmental Disabilities...we're still underfunding (compared to) last year, but it makes a positive statement of the importance of those programs," McClanahan said.
Other cuts made today could be restored before the full state budget is debated by the Missouri House.
It's expected to approve all budget bills and send them to the Missouri Senate by mid-March.